Bennet Hickenlooper Two SHot

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (left) and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, seen during their campaign swings through Iowa in February.

The Coloradans running for president have a lot in common, including a one-time alliance and a presumed friendship.

But now former Gov. John Hickenlooper and his former chief of staff, sitting U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, have this: Neither is ranked "top-tier" among presidential candidates by the Black Economic Alliance, a national group made up of black executives and other business leaders.

The alliance announced Friday that it would hold its first forum on June 15 to hear Democratic presidential candidates talk about expanding economic opportunity for black people.

The event will be held at The Charleston Music Hall in Charleston, S.C., and air the next day on the BET Network at 8 a.m. in Colorado.

"The top-tier candidates will discuss policy solutions to improve work, wages, and wealth for Black Americans in the critical early primary state of South Carolina in June,"  the alliance said Friday.

The list includes Sens. Cory Booker of New Jerset and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, as well as South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas.

Invitations also were extended to former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and alliance said.

The forum will be opened by U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina and moderated by TV host Soledad O’Brien. 

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